Health experts demanding a ban on chewing tobacco have condemned the recent move by the Karnataka cabinet to defer the decision on the issue on the pretext that the Supreme Court hearing is scheduled to be in the first week of December.
The experts, who came together to raise their voice against the government’s decision to defer the ban, told presspersons here on Saturday that it was not proper on part of the government to use the pretext of Supreme Court for deferring the ban.
Representatives from the State units of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Indian Dental Association (IDA) and Karnataka Association of Community Health (KACH), apart from Pragati Hebbar, Advocacy Officer, Institute of Public Health, S Suresh Kumar, former Law Minister and senior advocate from Karnataka High Court Ravi Shankar, who were all present at the press conference, said they had written letters to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah demanding a ban on chewing tobacco.
Mr. Kumar and Mr. Shankar said there was no Supreme Court direction to the State government with regard to ban chewing tobacco. Mr. Kumar said following the Union Ministry’s letter to the Chief Ministers of all States, the ban had been imposed in 11 states. “As health is a state subject, the Centre can only give directions and it is the State’s duty to follow the directions,” he said.
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